back to article Wikileaks video shows US gunfire on Reuters staff

Whistleblower website Wikileaks continued its explosion into mainstream journalism Monday with the release of a classified US military video showing forces firing repeatedly on unarmed people on a Baghdad street. The video showed an incident from July 12, 2007, the same day that Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his …


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  1. cirby


    ...but incomplete. It sure would be nice to see the bits leading up to the video.

    The real lesson here is for Reuters. "Don't send our personnel out with armed insurgents, and if you see one of them carrying an RPG while a US helicopter is in the area, RUN AWAY, YOU FOOL!"

    1. MattWPBS

      You see the bit at the end...

      Where they pointed out that the 'RPG' is a camera?

    2. koyama
      Black Helicopters


      please watch again!

      the rpg in question is a standard photographer camera, not a big chunky video camera (video crews got also shot in the past).

      so "lesson" is dont carry anything that could be mistake for a weapon *and if you die anyway, prepare to be called insurgents by DoD officials trying to cover the up the mess* .

      dont carry a wallet, this can be mistaken for a gun...

      best is dont carry anything. and dont be fat or pregnant because you could be mistaken to be hiding something below your cloths, so you have to be shot or tasered....

      also dont treat wounded or try bringing them to hospitals, even if you a working for the red cross and have markings on your ambulance.

      to sarcastic? my bad.

      uh and for the the cam-looks-like-a-rpg-crowd: get glasses, srsly


      maybe i played to much u.s. army training games in the past but these guys were obviously _not_ armed and the DoD officials did an even worse job for credibility.

      Sierra Hotel? ich dont think so.

      1. MeRp

        Hindsight; 20/20

        Obviously it is quite easy to spot the reporters and their cameras with those tags on there pointing them out.. why didn't the gun crew just pay attention to those damn tags?!?! Oh, wait....

        When I watched this video and tried to ignore the added hindsight evidence, what I saw is a bunch of men, some of whom appeared armed, one of whom appeared to be crouching at the edge of a building with a cylindrical object pointed in the camera's general direction (much like a Stinger or LAWS or any number of other Infantry anti-tank and anti-air weapons). When they were fired upon, the men scattered, of course; what else would you do whether you were armed and ready for a fight or not? It's not like they could return fire effectively. Then, after the battle, within a minute or so (at least it appears that way in the video, but there are pieces cut) an *unmarked* (no red cross or red crescent) shows up with some more men. They hurriedly jump out and try to grab wounded and equipment and try to get the hell out of there. Keep in mind that these are, from the perspective of the gunship, ENEMY wounded and ENEMY equipment, so, of course, you have to stop them.

        It is very easy to judge this incident from the comfort and safety of our chairs at home/work, with no imminent threat to ourselves or our friends. Where seeing a camera is infinitely more common and likely than ever seeing a shoulder launched rocket or missile. But that is not the situation these soldiers are in. They saw a chance to eliminate a handful of enemies and they asked for, and received, authorization to proceed.

        1. Brian 62


          Don't you think you should be *sure* about it before killing 10-14 people? I think it's you who is too comfortable behind your chair, maybe already desensitized by fake violence we have all around us every day. It sure is easy to look through the camera of a helicopter or UAV and have it seem like a game where you shoot first and ask questions later.

          An no, most rules of war do not allow one to shoot upon the "enemy" who shows up to care for the wounded or pick up the dead.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Rules of War

            This is not a war.

            This is a police action operating under the laws and regulations of the host country, under the auspices of the UN. In such cases, it is the host country laws and requirements that are met, and then UN rules are applied, and then General Orders for Police Actions (US), and then theatre operations rules and regulations, and then Post and Area rules for localities, and then mission operations rules and objectives.

            Of course, all this is also overridden at a moments notice by direct orders and/or imminent threat - if it looks like a shoulder mounted weapon that can take you out and they have not identified themselves as non-combatants (like Red Cross, etc), then you are under imminent threat.

        2. Graham Marsden


          You keep using phrases like "appeared to be armed" and "from the perspective of the gunship" these people were the "ENEMY", but, tell me, were any of them Brazilian Electricians because it seems to me that the same "Shoot first and don't even bother asking questions" doctrine appears(!) to have been applied here.

          "Are they the enemy?"

          "Dunno, but if we shoot them, they'll sure as hell be our enemies then!"

        3. koyama

          delta sierra

          i watched the long version first. no pointy tags there. the crew seamed more then relaxed.

          you can watch the long version without cuts here (the short version too):

          the shooting on marked medical personals was another city, another incident. nothing to do with this case.

          > they hurriedly jump out and try to grab wounded

          and if i was to pass by some guy in a puddle of his own blood i sure would first brew me some fine cup of tee and call my aunt for a nice cookie recipe before looking at his wounds. *rolleyes*

          someone got a nice manual up on flickr, maybe this'll help you

          so please compare those farmers with the sniper rifle guy... watch the video again (the long one) and if you still see an RPG, get glasses srsly.

          some more insurgents armed rocket propelled grenade, go for it crazy horse!

          oh no wait. delta sierra.

        4. Anonymous Coward

          MeRp Massive Phail

          You watched the video with a hindsight of your own.

          The weapon looked NOTHING like a Stinger or LAW, unless you have never seen one in real life, and I hope to God that the Apache crew have seen them. If they are that poor at target identification in a hostile environment we need to ground them. How can we be sure they can even tell friendly troops apart from the enemy..?

          What equipment did you see getting picked up?

          What is the requirement to prevent enemy wounded from getting treatment with, or without a Cross/Crescent?

          "It is very easy to judge this incident from the comfort and safety of our chairs at home/work,"

          Indeed, and that is exactly what we should do. It is why the military go into harms way. More importantly though its very easy to accept and effectively sanction the murder of innocents because we are fooled into thinking that all military personnel are well trained, well intentioned super heros, while simultaneously forgiving them for every mistake they make. Bizarre double standard.

          They thought they saw enemy soldiers - possibly true. They failed to properly identify. They reported seeing AK47s and RPGs (incorrectly or deliberately falsely, who knows) and as a result were authorized to open fire. As a result innocent people died.

          Do you really think there was no fault here? Do you think it was a lawful killing? In the words of the song "is this the way to end the war?"

          1. koyama

            lies dont help.... never

            > How can we be sure they can even tell friendly troops apart from the enemy..?

            radio chatter.

            bushmaster six. hotel two-six over [...]

            okay, roger, we're coming up north on Gadins and then we will push east to your location.

            bushmaster elements be advised we have friendlies coming from the south to your location. Over.

            oh and standing next to a Bradley or HMMV might help too.

            > What equipment did you see getting picked up?

            probably he saw all that equipment being taken that was with the dead bodies 3-4 houses away from the location of that wounded guy.

            But honestly I'm sad that it gets only talked about how good or bad the apache did PID and not about the bad problem solving after the incident. they lied, plain and simple. they lied and then they wonder why the trustworthiness of the AA is really low in some parts of the world.

            'July 12th, 2007 New York Times reports that two Iraqi journalists were killed in a militia clash with U.S. forces - ''There is no question that coalition forces were clearly engaged in combat operations against a hostile force,'' said Lt. Col. Scott Bleichwehl, a spokesman for the multinational forces in Baghdad.'

            Maybe this helps at the home front to keep the illusion of the unfailing christian white knight that brings democracy and culture to the heavens.... but it does more bad then good and jeopardize the safety of our men and women on the battlefield.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Grainy my ass ...... but we understand your dilemma, El Reg, and reject it

    "After all, war is messy business, and a grainy video shot by a single helicopter can't be expected to tell the entire story."

    Quite so, and one does wonder why it is not classified a criminal terrorist enterprise with its assets seized and bank accounts frozen, in just the same easy way that they do to close down anything which is thought dodgy. Although it is not really a mystery is it whenever so many are making a mint from its suffering, which then surely identifies the main terrorists for those who would claim to be waging War on Terror?

    And that was a very clear video, Dan, ["which has been confirmed as authentic by senior military officials"] which showed everything in fine detail and told the entire story in high definition 3D, and to deny what it shows with a tale of anything else is surely evidence against the DoD removing any possible doubt in the Wikileaks allegation ......" may or may not be proof of the Pentagon cover-up and misconduct alleged by Wikileaks."

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters


    I feel sick and sad for the innocent people who died that day.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Dead Vulture

    Loveable fresh-faced naiveté

    >>Which makes you wonder if the army really did consider ways to bring-down the whistleblower site.

    Because an institution that does illegal invasions, ultrakill, collateral damage by robot, general ass covering, inefficiency by design and also treats its own "employees" like toilet paper is going to stop at "bringing down" some website.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It does kind of look like the guy at 4:11 has an rpg. He's crouched down at the corner of a wall pointing his camera up at the helicopter. Kinda sucks but accidents happen, its just a shame the army didn't own up to the mistake.

    As for the children in the van, they were never visible so you can't really blame them for that although one might ask if its appropriate to shoot a rescue crew even if you suspect they are enemies.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how's that different...

    ...from what nazis did in WWII?

    looking back at the history, nazis were outlawed, so following that example, can we now outlaw the USA?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Here's the simple answer to your question :

      If you win the war, you become a hero. If you lose it, you become a criminal.

      Sorry for not remembering the author of these words of wisdom.

  7. Titus Aduxass
    Thumb Down

    Oh the (lack of) humanity

    "one of the wounded is loaded into a van and shuttled away, the vehicle is taken out"

    That'd be an ambulance then.

    Oh the language I'd love to use to describe the americans who did this. But this is the El Reg forum so, no doubt, the comments will be restrained and civilised.

    Unlike the ****s in the Apache gun ship.

    1. Lionel Baden

      Im sorry but...

      Yes its not nice to have war shoved in your face in your living room.

      But at the end of the day those soldiers are trained to kill without feeling and its the way they are trained to regard human life, otherwise they would be bloody useless.

      I dont like it myself either but thats war what do you expect them to do go tickle them ?

      also if you dont like it i suggest you dont watch video's with names like : unarmed people slaughtered in war.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        "also if you dont like it i suggest you dont watch video's with names like : unarmed people slaughtered in war."

        You know what, you're right - I don't like it. You know what else? I don't like your suggestion though. On the contrary - I suggest that people who get upset by this kind of thing should be exactly the people to watch it and get upset and angry, because then they might do something constructive as a result. Like writing to their MPs and requesting both they and their party condemn this unprovoked action and demand an explanation from the USA. Like posting the link on MySpace, on Facebook, on Bebo, on whereever the fuck you hang out on the Internet so the US Government can't wish this problem away and are forced to deal with it. Like writing to the relatives of those killed expressing your support.

        Because that's what human beings do, because human beings aren't the kinds of animals who are so bloody useless they react with joy when someone else dies for really real in a viscious and unprovoked assault.

        1. Lionel Baden

          ok so have you ???

          The main point i was making was the OP was complaining they killed them without remorse.

          So now youve watched it you have now started a protest group and just used 4 seconds of your life to share this on Bebo ... That will show them !!! 4000 people used up 4 seconds of their life.

          Or take your own advice go to your PM's office and make a complaint and watch it get fobbed off

          i even bothered writing to my MP and was midly shocked to get a reply 3 months later. Although very well written it wont help in the slightest.

          Go enjoy your well written letter i have been there done that got the letter :/

          1 person can change the world i agree but i'll bet 1 million fucking pounds its not going to be you or me buddy !! its that power mad wanker in office .....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward


            "The main point i was making was the OP was complaining they killed them without remorse."

            Which is what soldiers do, agreed.

            And the social cost of encouraging people to behave like this is?

            And it's acceptable behaviour in what circumstances other than war?

            And war is necessary because?

            "So now youve watched it you have now started a protest group ..."

            And your point is what? That when you see injustice you should just shrug your shoulders and walk away saying "It's nothing to do with me and I can't change anything". Well done you for giving up so easily: All the people listed here feel the same as you:


            What's that, Big Ted? They don't feel the same? They feel that in this life if you see injustice you should strive to correct it and change the world for the better?

            Well blow me down. Do people really feel that way any more, Big Ted?

            What's that? They do?


            Someone should tell Lionel, because it sounds like he's forgotten life can be beautiful when we all try to make the world a better place.

            Who knows - perhaps if someone reminds him he might become less cynical and try changing the world for the better himself?

            1. Lionel Baden

              i Work my ass off to make the world a better place

              I just start where i can make a decent difference

              my family my freinds my neighbourhood

              You try to make it sound im pro war which is incorrect. I dont like war.

              I dont beleive we could do without army's overnight. and yes they cost money.

              Damn may as well get rid of the police force as well... they cost money and if everybody was nice to eachother we wouldnt need them either.

              As for walking away when i see injustice no i dont partly due to being mugged when i was about 14 in london, and no one bastard stopped to help. But mainly because of the way i was brought up.

              Some of my proudest moments are when i have helped people in need.

              As for your link it took 300 of them :/ and they did more than start a facebook group showing their displeasure.

              I understand your logic and wishes and agree with them but i am going to stay realistic about what is possible and what is not

              Under the circumstances these men have been under i cannot blame them for laughing about it and making jokes.

              Similar situations happen in hospitals with the staff joking about dead dying patients, but for some reason that lack of compassion is understood :/ it not the same but similar

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                @Damn may as well get rid of the police force as well

                Maybe. Western English-speaking Governments and their Police are all but indistinguishable from organised crime. Maybe without them, the Mafia would be an acceptable, more honest alternative.

        2. tobyr
          Thumb Up

          10 on 10

          outstandingly well put.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Bravo Sir, Bravo

          +1million for Silver Fox.

          Well said. Your comment should be compulsor reading for all adults.

          Thank you.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        I guess you show the same feelings

        about the soldiers who massacred the civil population at Oradour-sur- Glane in WWII then. After all they were just soldiers trained to kill so we should understand that because otherwise they'd have been useless.

        1. Lionel Baden

          answers itself really

          if they were not in the army would they of done it ??

          highly doubtfull

          so QED the army/war is the cause

  8. John G Imrie

    How long

    Until the US Government orders a take-down notice to YouTubeunder the DMCA for violating the copyright of its helicopter pilots?

  9. Anonymous Coward


    lauging after running over a body?? really??? this is murder plain and simple and anybody, american or not, that doesnt feel shame for what has been perpetrated in our name should not be breathing the same air as those that do.


  10. GrumpyJoe

    One word


    And to the inevitable apologists - put yourself there - still making excuses?

  11. Milkfloat

    So proud

    Doesn't it make you so proud to be part of such a civilised society?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the Americans wonder...

    ...why half the world is chucking bombs at them? What makes the killing we see in this video any different from terrorism - it's every bit as indiscriminate.

    Whatever the truth of the actual event, what can't be explained is why the very natural horror and revulsion we all feel watching this wasn't shared by those American servicemen, who clearly revelled in the killing.

    Incidents like this must surely recruit more terrorists than Al Qaida could ever manage.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    my shame knows no limits today.

    "The real lesson here is for Reuters. "Don't send our personnel out with armed insurgents, and if you see one of them carrying an RPG while a US helicopter is in the area, RUN AWAY, YOU FOOL!""

    You mean the camera? The one the photographer, who is legitimately present was carrying?

    The real lesson is that those in charge are basing their decisions on the opinions of the men in the field, or in this case, the heavily armed chopper. This is fine, if those soldiers can be trusted. But people who react in the way the audio of this clip indicates, shouldn't be in charge of anything beyond a Mickey D's fryer.

    That they'd do this, and then think it was reasonable to shoot again at the clearly injured, and then at anyone who tries to help them, makes me cry for the state of our so-called civilisation.

    That the children were then diverted to an Iraqi hospital, just smacks of cover-up, and one not even done after careful consideration, but done as almost standard practice.

    I'm ashamed that my government supports the people who do this. The men involved should all be put out of work, or better, court martialled.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Looks like an rpg to me

      The guy was crouching down in cover by the corner of the building pointing a shoulder mounted device up at the helicopter, its pretty understandable how they mistook it for an RPG especially since they have presumably been dispatched to the area expecting trouble.

      Definitely the lack of compassion and shooting up the van are pretty unforgivable though.

      1. Pablo


        The only thing that makes me feel even slightly sympathetic to the killers is that you can hear genuine alarm in his voice upon spotting the "RPG". But everything else about the video does a pretty good job of erasing that sympathy.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No RPG

        They watch the crowd, see there is no RPG and that a guy has a camera. Why would they think a magic RPG appeared when some one peered round the corner?

  14. Michael M

    Taken out?

    "After one of the wounded is loaded into a van and shuttled away, the vehicle is taken out."

    Taken out? I'm grateful that you didn't write that Iraqis had a cap popped in their asses.

  15. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1

    Compulsive viewing

    Epic FAIL

    Seriously, this should be shown in every classroom in every country at the start of each year's history class.

    I want to embed this as the front page of my blog and I want open season declared on every British and US politician.

    We could pay off the national deficit by offering licenses to kill the twats. 1,000 quid a pop. I'd have a go.

    Has this been shown on the NuLabourBBC yet?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      to be honest,

      the fault in this particular incident lies not with politicians, but with the obviously trigger happy soldiers who were so determined to blow up a load of unarmed civillians.

      that said, a shot at a politician is not to be sneered at.

    2. Etrien Dautre

      So Get In Here As Hero... Or As -

      I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1, could you please initiate some shortening? (-:

      "We could pay off the national deficit by offering licenses to kill the twats. 1,000 quid a pop. I'd have a go" -

      Many would, because of maybe a righteous wraith, economical recession or just of some sad feelings. Would need a reliable twat detector. Otherwise, welcome to Reuters / The Register, I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1. OhmyCtrlC.

      1000 quid a pop. What a shit. Wraith only.

  16. Daniel Garcia 2

    oh god!

    "The video, which has been confirmed as authentic by senior military officials, may or may not be proof of the Pentagon cover-up and misconduct alleged by Wikileaks. After all, war is messy business, and a grainy video shot by a single helicopter can't be expected to tell the entire story."

    messy business? and shooting unarmed people picking up wounded ones is a messy business too?

    i just so a nerd F@@ker playing his ultra realistic shoot them up with god mode and knowing that his arse is cover from any kind of retaliation. he is clearly having fun.

    murderer coward.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Move along, nothing to see here.

    US military kills unarmed civilians.

    Man bites dog? Now that's a story.

  18. Joe Welcome

    Politics as sports and war as terror

    I think this video ough to raise a few issues.

    That war and collateral damage, is understood as and used by politicians as a tool for political sports, where really the only aim is *hoping* to win with whatever resources they have at hand or are willing to spend/invest. The resources being; political goodwill (how a state/government behave towards any and all human beings), the training of their military, investment into a conflict and the rules of engagement. Bottom line is that war is terror, and this is used as a tool, not for actual defending oneself, but for offence, shaping the world with violence.

    That waging war is a privilege, and that this ought to raise concerns both political and, well, there only are political issues aren't there? It's not like anyone has a right to interfere as in some kind of act of justice, defence or in other way support. If a soldier guns down a reporter, and if you try to defende yourself by attacking a soldier, you are probably gunned down as well if not already so. Such events and consequences, unfortunately a product of waging war on any scale, are not really that *tragical*, the actions can probably be described as stupid, reckless and speculative.

    That you have been watching snuff video footage, and more importantly that you probably think that this event holds special value that is barred from control and effective critique. That the loss of human life is so tragic, but only when it happens to "guilty" people. Just imagine the term "guilty civilian" as opposed to the obscene term "innocent civilian", which could imply that there are civilians that are not innocent. The bombing of hiroshima in 1945 and the firebombing prior to that, showed that it was ok to target and kill civilians directly by the thousands if not hundreds of thousands, but probably not *the targeting of civilians* as such, *if* one imagine the excuses by the military/politicians/stupid people, where it probably is a matter of methodology. That the targeting and the killing civilians is ok, if only the right or justifiable method is used as a motivation.

    So what would "innocent civilian" mean? Not being "guilty", or simply someone ever-destined as such, to be on the receiving end of destruction and misfortune? Someone who did not *earn* the punishment to be killed or mutilated? That civilians dying is *tragic* as a categorical definition of casualties in a war, conflict or other action.

    What a freakish and crazy conception of innocence, used by media, people, soliders and politicians. Void of any real meaning other than being an object of pity and political acts of policy (the political and the act of it, two different things).

    Politics will be found at either end of war, as a medium of justice and authority and ill will, but it seem obvious to me, that war is like a sports activity. Trivial at the upper political layer at times when it really matters and when war, terror and oppression is raging, and trivial for the spectators that can't or don't want to control or critiuqe the actions of goverments and organizations, because real opposition is likely unlawful and probably punishable by death at some point, and the general opinion or proverbial pscyce might be coined as being self-conscious of being interwoven with special and self-interests.

  19. Nux Vomica


    "Don't send our personnel out with armed insurgents, and if you see one of them carrying an RPG while a US helicopter is in the area"

    No one was carrying an RPG as was clearly visible on the video. At no point is a weapon of any description visible or does anyone take any action which could be interpreted as offensive. Hiding from heavily armed aircraft crewed by an invading army with a decades long reputation for indiscriminate and excessive use of firepower against civlians would seem to be far from foolish.

    The aircrew will be congratulated and promoted, more civilians will die and more insurgents will be recruited to kill more troops. Unrestrained violence begets unrestrained violence, and if you doubt we would do the same in this country, try doing a little reading on the Northern Ireland troubles. I'd recommend Killing Rage by Eamonn Collins.

    Interesting to note the difference in demeanour between the troops on the ground who can see directly what the results of their actions are and are potentially in real danger in this kind of situation and the jocks in the air who were not remotely under threat (listen to their tone of voice) and consider it all just a game (I don't say that lightly, again listen to their language and tone, soldiers under imminent threat don't laugh about it, they don't have time).

    This is as much a case of indiscriminate slaughter as the terrorist bombings and will result in the same prolonging of the cycle of violence.

  20. Winkypop Silver badge

    I'm always amazed how....

    ....the incredibly ignorant and stupid can be taught to operate complex machinery like a helicopter..

  21. Daniel 1

    If it's natural to kill, why do men have to go into training, to learn how?

    You're wounded. You're in shock. You're on your knees losing blood. The men, you were standing with, a few seconds previously, have been turned into meat, by a man in the sky with a chain gun.

    But the man in the sky isn't finished. He's looking at you, like he's looking at something down a microscope; and he's telling you to pick up a gun, or something, so he can turn you into meat.

    God is not great.

    Only the man in the sky, with the chain gun, is great.

  22. BoldMan

    Chopper crew need glasses!

    The chopper crew need to be taught the difference between a telephoto lens and an RPG, a camera bag and an AK47. They see what they WANT to see not what is actually there. That is incredibly dangerous. They are in that area and want to see people with weapons, so that is what they see.

    As for taking out the truck... where were the weapons or danger there? What justification can there be for those murders?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      You are the Justification

      You can never prove a negative. That's why you are living in a country that can make you a social outcast, put you in jail for several years, and make it impossible to hold down a decent paying job when you have "repaid society". All when some punk spray-paints "<your name> touched my weeny" on your house/apartment/car.

      Instead of the police doing some actual work on the vandalism of your property, you are labeled a "pedo", and with "no smoke, no fire", you are now scum.

      Aren't you glad you live in a democratic nation? (UK/US - doesn't matter)

      How is this possibly related? Replace "pedo" with "terrorist" or "sympathizer" and "touched my weeny" with "supports Al-Qaida" or "knifed a child in the name of <deity>".

      Whatever was or was not in that van does not matter. If the person labelled "enemy" is still moving, gains assistance or is reinforced by more "enemy", they must be stopped to keep the "civilians" "safe".

      Go eat your McDonald's or fish & chips and leave your "moral outrage" where ever you keep your dollars or pounds or euros - By using those pieces of paper or coins you already supported what happened. The disdain you hear in the pilot's voice is yours whenever you say "Aye" to your government's ill-conceived dribble.

  23. william henderson 1


    innocent people getting killed in war, killed by uniformed soldiers acting under international laws of war.

    unlike their opponents, hiding among the populace and so revelling in death, they spend half their time killing each other and bombing markets.

    sure, the yanks and us brits, get it wrong sometimes but its not policy, unlike that of the taliban/insugents.

    how many here criticising the yanks will condemn our bomber crews in the last big shitfest?

    1. Titus Aduxass

      @william henderson

      "how many here criticising the yanks will condemn our bomber crews in the last big shitfest?"

      Me. I will.

      WTF are we doing sending bombers to deal with insurgents who are, in your own words, "hiding among the populace"?

      These disproportionate actions, done in our name, are creating a generation of people who will hate us.

    2. Nux Vomica

      @william henderson 1

      Policy isn't the issue here, individual conduct is. The fact that the crew were clearly under no threat, and were literally begging for an excuse to fire is the issue. I do not contend that policy is at fault, the individuals who conducted and subsequently covered up this action are.

      Yes the insurgents are largely indiscriminate murderers (including those who will now be motivated by this act), but I still prefer to believe we are different because we do not intentionally kill civilians either as policy or a deliberate act of the individual. If you think we're not, then of course none of these arguments is going to cut much ice with you as they are irrelevant. Accidental killing of civilians in prolonged counter insurgency operations is almost inevitable, intentional killing of them is not and should not be tolerated. If you think that simple murder is fine, then theres no issue for you here, and a good career awaits you at Blackwater.

      Yes I do think that if the laws used to prosecute the Nazi's at Nuremberg were fairly applied, then "Bomber" Harris and others would have been in the dock for the mass murder they commited (in this case as policy) though not the individual aircrews (as they had proven foreknowledge that they were bombing just defenceless civilians as a primary target not as collateral of industrial and infrastructure targets) , as Harris undoubedly did.

      Further still, so should Blair et. al. for that matter. The crimes for which many were prosecuted at Nuremberg included “Crimes against peace” specifically, "the planning and pre-party of aggressive war. This also included any financial, physical, or ideological attempt to wage war".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      innocent people getting killed in war, killed by uniformed soldiers acting under international laws of war.

      Why then allow me to quote to you from the Geneva Convention, *ahem*:

      "Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs. They shall at all times be humanely treated, and shall be protected especially against all acts of violence or threats thereof and against insults and public curiosity."

      So you can see - right there where you quoted the bit about uniformed soldiers acting under international laws of war killing innocent people - that you have no clue whatsoever about International Law and should GTFO.

      "unlike their opponents, hiding among the populace and so revelling in death, they spend half their time killing each other and bombing markets."

      Yeah, and disguising their rockets launchers as cameras.

      "sure, the yanks and us brits, get it wrong sometimes but its not policy, unlike that of the taliban/insugents."

      In 2005 officers of the London Metropolitan police force shot dead a certain Mr. Menezes, an unarmed civilian, who they misidentified as a terrorist. Despite what you might have heard it is not the policy of the London Metropolitan police force to misidentify and then to shoot unarmed civilians, but this policy was - unsurprisingly - of no comfort whatsoever to the family of Mr. Menezes (who have still to receive any kind of justice whatsoever). In a similar way USA policy will be of no comfort whatsoever to the families of those killed in this attack, and this is partly because the attack follows a well-established pattern:

      Shooter misidentifies target;

      Shooter shoots and kills target;

      Shooter discovers they have misidentified their target;

      Shooter lies in order to escape justice;

      Institution which employs shooter covers the escapade up.

      It's the last two bits that tend to get people outside the family really quite riled. OK, so you made a mistake and that mistake cost someone their life. Well that is a hard, hard thing you will need to live with for the rest of your life. Only you won't need to do that if ol' Uncle Sam just makes it all go away.

      If we really went to Iraq to dispense Justice (which we didn't, but let's pretend because that's the story we're all supposed to recite and hoist-by-your-own-petard is one of my most favourite games to play) then where, I ask you, is the Justice in this?

      "how many here criticising the yanks will condemn our bomber crews in the last big shitfest?"

      The bombing of Dresden was a fucking outrage, those who took part in it should hang their heads in shame, and their should have been an inquiry as to why it was allowed to happen.

      Happy now?

    4. Stratman


      "hiding among the populace"

      Hiding??? They're in their OWN FUCKING COUNTRY you prick. Unlike the sub-morons playing a video game with real bullets.

      Trigger happy Yanks in yet another fubar cover-up.

      Whoda thunkit.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So, by the same logic...

      (hiding among the populace?)

      ...the next time there's a hostage situation in the UK or USA - or an armed criminal is hiding in an occupied building - we just blow the whole lot to hell? Or are the rules simply different when dealing with Johnny Foreigner?

  24. Nuno trancoso


    Utter bollocks.

    At least 5s before they actually shoot, the would be RPG can be seen to be a camera. They had the option to call it off, but FPS and cowboy mentality won. Shooting the evac was icing on the cake.

    Pretty much bet the ground personnel was 100% "wtf went on here...".

    Bad as it would be, investigation, court martial and kicked off would still be an easy get off for the shooters.

    Covering the fsck up by their CO's is were it starts to stink real bad.

    Hope the media goes hard on it. Might make other CO's think that covering up bad things gone real bad could be an option, but covering up utterly stupid "Rambo's" isn't.

  25. DavCrav


    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that if Wikileaks keeps pissing off large numbers of people, they might find themselves 'taken out'. Do they piss off Mossad often, I wonder?

    1. Etrien Dautre

      too much cross-inbreeding

      they do, DavCrav, leads to sbwy blasts. say stop supporting hms. are they humans, say?

  26. wgae

    Look at those dead bastards. Nice.

    I am speechless, and have only one word for this: SICK.

  27. MinionZero
    Big Brother

    We need more openness like this, because only the truth will set us free...

    I think its vital we are free to see things like this. If mistakes or whatever are made, we need to know about it, so its extremely bad and worrying things like this are hidden from us.

    So I find it very interestingly how the main youtube site now forces us to login to view the video. They say its because of content, but I don't buy that for a second. Also we see horrific scenes of dead and dying on TV news and documentaries all the time and have done for decades. Therefore I strongly suspect there is another reason for them to force people to join and login before they can see it.

    For a start the military and government have been against Wikileaks before (because in effect Wikileaks are protesters against the government and so anyone viewing their information is also more likely to become a government protester). Plus given the amount of times protesters on anything these days are photographed and then identified, the state is clearly trying very hard to identify anyone who could even just be a potential risk of speaking out against them. So getting people to login even via a free email account still helps to tag that person. Because sooner or later most people will use that same free email account to login to a site they use with their credit cards etc.. and bingo, if its one of the sites the government works with the owners to watch then they can associate that login email with an actual person.

    Don't believe me. Ok if you live in the UK, join facebook and for a joke add binladin as a friend so you can tell all your friends you have finally found him, when no one else could. Think its just a joke, yeah right, then wait for the interesting worrying phone call that most definitely isn't from a marketing company. The question this raises is how does state security associate facebook to your phone number and directly to you? They clearly can because I now know for a fact this happens as its happened to someone I know. State security has no sense of humor, to them its not a joke because to them, that friend link is a honey pot trap to try to identify potential sympathizers. I think its ignorant in the extreme, but there you go, thats the kind of twisted stupid games they are increasingly playing to identify people.

    The state is working very hard to identify anyone who in any way could potentially be against them for any reason. The freedom to speak out and protest doesn't really exist any more in the UK. The state is watching and waiting to punish anyone who steps out of line to be too big an opponent to them (so don't dare setup a protest group about anything) and the state is determined to build an ever growing list of reasons to make peoples lives more difficult if or when they choose to punish someone. (So they can say to you, “you done this and that etc..”, as they drag you in for questioning, on the exact day you were going to lead a protest against the government etc... So they can stop and punish you simply by withholding your freedom for a few hours to stop what you were going to do, so its all covert means of punishment and they are gaming the system to get away with doing it legally).

    All this state behavior I find very interesting, because in a free country, where the government is formed from people who are suppose to be as they say, our "elected representatives" therefore they represent us, then why do they work against us. Which is my core point, why do they try with this video to hide mistakes from us?. Why do they try to hide from us mistakes made by anyone our elected representatives employ on our behalf. Why are they working against us when they are suppose to be representing us. I know they can hide behind reasons to hide the information, but ultimately and morally they work for us, and we must be told the truth. So if mistaken judgments are made and people die, we at least need to know mistakes are made, so society as a whole can work to prevent these kinds of mistakes in the future. Yet our state rulers keep proving through their own actions that they actually work against us not for us.

    So we need far more openness like this, because as the saying goes, "only the truth will set us free" in this case free from this state run growing tyranny getting ever worse in our society.

    1. Etrien Dautre
      Thumb Up

      A Long Road To Openness

      "I find it very interestingly how the main youtube site now forces us to login to view the video. They say its because of content, but I don't buy that" -

      many also have tried to watch the video on youtube after being through with the article, but anyway returned back here to use the _local_ service (-:

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Harold Pinter - anyone for a chocolate kiss this Easter?

    American Football


    It works.

    We blew the shit out of them.

    We blew the shit right back up their own ass

    And out their fucking ears.

    It works.

    We blew the shit out of them.

    They suffocated in their own shit!


    Praise the Lord for all good things.

    We blew them into fucking shit.

    They are eating it.

    Praise the Lord for all good things.

    We blew their balls into shards of dust,

    Into shards of fucking dust.

    We did it.

    Now I want you to come over here and kiss me on the mouth.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Video Games

    It's clear that these pilots have spent too much time playing video games or in flight simulators and hold no more value for real life than they do for characters in games.

    Never mind the Iraqis, after seeing that I feel like picking up the nearest RPG and firing at these murdurers, killing the original crowd for no reason is bad enough, but killing the people who came to help the injired, which book of engagement is that from?

  30. Anonymous Coward


    This should be an example of why FOI requests should not be allowed to be turned down, what's the point of "openness" if they can simply opt to cover up anything embarrassing or illegal?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The military is not a police force...

    ...and should not be used as one. The military is a conquering force! And this video just reinforces that fact. I thought we would have learned that by now but I guess my hopes for humanity are just a tad high.

  32. IT Dog's Boy

    No suprise that it was an eddited version

    There is an unedited version of the video which is 39 minutes long and unsurprisingly has a bit more to it.

    The troops you see arrive on the ground were taking fire while they were down the street and the group of individuals did have weapons and an RPG not just cameras. It looks very much like they were are were going to start firing at the troops down the street.

    The van has no "ambulance" marking of any sort and looks very much like they were trying to remove wounded and weapons from the area before ground troops could get on scene. Having kids in a vehicle driven into an active engagement is just stupid of the parents.

    In the unedited video ground troops do report an unexpended RPG round partially under a body. A RPG round can not be mistaken for a camera or lens up close.

    What were these reporters doing in this group with an RPG and AK-47s? Were they trying to capture "An insurgents view"?

    People express concern and outrage about the callous manner in which the American forces killed their targets. They took out several people who were trying to fire on their fellow soldiers why shouldn't they be happy with their efficiency. I never hear anybody complain when an insurgent explodes an IED or snipes an American or Allied troop on film and practically dance and sing about it.

    1. Neil 51

      So have you got a link...

      .... to the unedited video? Or did you just read a description of it on the internet, so it must be true?

      1. Wkd

        Full unedited version

        Full unedited version

        Make your own mind up

    2. Anonymous Coward

      A serving soldier to IT Dog's Boy

      I made a longer replywhich seems to have failed moderation, so I will try with a shorter one.

      Speaking as a serving soldier having just finished a tour in AFG and who has completed two previous tours in IQ: If I knew you in person I would hate you. I do not serve to defend people like you. Your support of the military shames me.

      Everything you have said is wrong.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Are you insane?

      Speaking as a serving soldier having just finished a tour in AFG and who has completed two previous tours in IQ, I think you are insane.

      "It looks very much like they were are were going to start firing at the troops down the street."

      Erm, no. I saw the less edited 39 minute version as well and no it doesnt.

      "The van has no "ambulance" marking of any sort and looks very much like they were trying to remove wounded and weapons from the area before ground troops could get on scene."

      So what? It has no markings of any sort and no weapons are visible. There no signs that there are weapons that either the wounded or the "helpers" are trying to get and remove.

      Removing wounded from an area of conflict is not a criminal act and is protected under the Geneva Accords of 1949. The wounded did not have weapons visible, were not shooting and should have been, at best, detained by the ground troops. Opening fire achieves nothing, especially given the fact it seems the Apache teams were unable to properly identify targets and determine the threat.

      "Having kids in a vehicle driven into an active engagement is just stupid of the parents."

      Oh right so they should let their fellow countrymen die because everyone knows you arent safe when the US military is in the air. Is that really what you are trying to say? Are you really that callous to think its a legitimate response?

      "In the unedited video ground troops do report an unexpended RPG round partially under a body. A RPG round can not be mistaken for a camera or lens up close."

      No, and there wasnt an RPG round there, let alone a launcher with which to propel one. The camera footage at the time of the engagement shows quite clearly that none of the people were armed and one had a camera over his shoulder. If the pilots are that poor at identifying weapons they shouldnt have been allowed in the air.

      "What were these reporters doing in this group with an RPG and AK-47s? Were they trying to capture "An insurgents view"?"

      I suspect they were being reporters and doing what reporters do. Same as we have reporters on the ground with coalition forces there quite rightly should be ones showing what the citizenry of the country we are supposed to be improving are living through.

      Do you suggest reporters should only be allowed to cover sponsored military events because anything else is too dangerous?

      "They took out several people who were trying to fire on their fellow soldiers why shouldn't they be happy with their efficiency."

      Well yes, we should be happy that two helicopter gunships expended hundreds of rounds of ammunition, killed two journalists, wounded some children and caused international outrage.

      Fantastic efficiency there.

      You fail almost more than the pilots.

      "I never hear anybody complain when an insurgent explodes an IED or snipes an American or Allied troop on film and practically dance and sing about it."

      I take it back, you fail more now. Are you serious? Every news outlet covers this outrage. Hell we even invade countries as a result of this outrage.

      Is your "moralistic" position really so weak you have come out with this lie to justify it?

      Even *if* you were correct (and you arent) so what? The whole idea is that we are supposed to be the good guys and they are the evil terrorists with no regard for human life and dignity. Except you dont really think that do you? You want to be as cruel, evil and inhumane as the enemy because deep down you are jealous that they are not constrained by moral values, yet you want me to fight a war to protect your moral values.

      If I knew you in person I would hate you. I do not serve to defend people like you. Your support of the military shames me.

      1. william henderson 1


        "The van has no "ambulance" marking of any sort and looks very much like they were trying to remove wounded and weapons from the area before ground troops could get on scene."

        So what? It has no markings of any sort and no weapons are visible. There no signs that there are weapons that either the wounded or the "helpers" are trying to get and remove.

        Removing wounded from an area of conflict is not a criminal act and is protected under the Geneva Accords of 1949. "

        the geneva convention also requires those acting in such a way are clearly identifiable by means described in the convention.

        such incedents happened in northern ireland, (see "contact" by A F N Clarke) and were deemed leitimate acts by the soldier as the people recovering the wounded/killed terrorists were not identifiable as medical staff.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    How about some binoculars?

    One crewman with some stabilized binoculars could have prevented the whole farce. A camera bag with a shoulder strap may bear some similarity to an assault rifle with a shoulder strap if all you can see is dark blobs. The optics on the Apache gunship were designed to spot tanks on an open battlefield, not to distinguish insurgents from civilians on city streets. If they have the luxury of flying around totally unthreatened for ten minutes trying to decide what's going on, then they certainly could put down the gun sight and pick up some binoculars and take a decent look.

  34. Etrien Dautre

    Apache. Way Beyond Software You Got Used To.

    "Maybe they have some Apache hardware..." (side citation) -

    I know someone having some films like this, and not only on videotape, cos there was no videotape available in, 4x, Viet Nam. And not only with American crew starring/featuring. And surely the post's not an ad.

    The only thing that so surprises me is why are there still so many so surprised here?

  35. Pablo
    IT Angle


    Atrocities aside, I'm curious about Wikileaks' statement they "obtained and decrypted" the video. Are they claiming they can break military encryption?

    That seems unlikely, though we learned here: that sometimes they don't even bother with encryption. But assuming they received this from a whistleblower why was it even encrypted, and how did they decrypt it? Unless they were simply given the key, but in that case it would be rather pointless to even mention.

    1. Steen Hive
      Thumb Up


      "Are they claiming they can break military encryption?"

      No, only military-grade stupidity.

  36. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Personally, I'd shoot 'em again

    What were reporters doing mixed in with these guys in the first place? And why are they surprised at being shot?

    Every time I see news footage of interviews with leading Taliban people, I want to shoot the reporter in the face myself. I'll bet these are the same reporters that go out embedded the next day with US troops knowing there's enemy forces right over the hill and not telling anybody.

    When the insurgents start obeying Geneva conventions and wearing a uniform, then I'll start condemning this sort of thing. Until then, as far as I'm concerned they're all fair targets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down


      Why should they bother with Geneva rules the occupiers disregard?

      Apart from the ongoing discussion whether the occupation is legal in any way.

      Reminds me of certain incidents in France in the early forties, but then the occupiers were neither british nor american ... so probably different rules for different occupiers then?

      Anyway, do have a look at the Geneva conventions concerning resistance fighters, they did change rules after '45. Seems a bit impractical from todays perspective, but in the end, who needs moral superiority as long as the firepower is there.

      (anonymous for obvious reasons)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "What were reporters doing mixed in with these guys in the first place?"

      Uh, covering a story?

      "And why are they surprised at being shot?"

      They aren't surprised because they're dead. I know very little about what it's like to be dead, but I'm fairly sure that getting your corpse to assume an expression of surprise after it's been blown to pieces is beyond the powers of those who have passed on.

      "Every time I see news footage of interviews with leading Taliban people, I want to shoot the reporter in the face myself."

      You seem to have anger management issues. Do you, perhaps, work for the American military?

      "When the insurgents start obeying Geneva conventions and wearing a uniform, then I'll start condemning this sort of thing."

      "Until then, as far as I'm concerned they're all fair targets."

      Ah, someone else who thought to mention the Geneva Conventions without bothering to look it up first.


      To qualify for POW status uniform is not mandatory as long as the combatants or militias carry arms openly;

      The United States has not signed the part of the Geneva Conventions that covers militias and resistance movements

      "Under the Geneva Conventions, soldiers who fight out of uniform or commit atrocities such as, murder prisoners or target and kill non combatants may be shot by firing squads."

      So although the Taliban might be fighting out of uniform the US soldiers are entitled to suffer the same fate because they killed non-combatants.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Another war criminal at heart...

      Yeah cos any reporter being in a civilian area in the middle east should expect to be shot by the coalition at a moments notice.

      We should be able to kill anyone who looks a bit swathy in appearance because deep down they are all terrorists and its just too darn hard to tell them apart. I mean this worked so well in Vietnam, whats wrong with doing it now? Why draw the line at reporters - why not go in now and kill all the women and children to prevent future generations...

      The Geneva convention applies to signatories who ever they are fighting. You cant decide one day that its just too hard not being a war criminal so to hell with idea of any control over the slaughter.

      Hell why not fly gunships over our inner cities and open fire on anyone who looks a bit criminal, I mean its not as if serial killers, pedophiles and rapists wear uniforms is it? So why should the rule of law apply to them. We even have a war on crime to back up this policy.

      In fact, stuff it all, lets just give every man, woman and child a gun, a clip of ammo and see who is left in a few days time.

      I cant wait to go back to Afghanistan where at least people are basically decent.

  37. Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, but...

    I find it hard to sympathize with the semi-literate.

    If you can't get spelling, grammar, and sentence structure correct, why should I assume you can get your facts and opinions straight?

  38. william henderson 1


    as the taliban/ insurgents do not ware uniforms, how does one descern them from "civilians"?

    because under international law thats what they are!

    the fact that the taliban/insurgents do not form part of a recognised national army, they may be killed where ever they are found, if armed.

    remember; resistance is not only futile, its illegal.

    (seeing this footage on a rock steady 19" monitor in controlled lighting probably results in a slightly clearer image that that available on the apache's helmet mounted display or 6" cockpit displays.

    so, im not surprised that people here can see something the chopper driver didnt or couldnt).

    as a squady once said to me (sorta); if it looks like a gun, it is a gun. if its pointing at me or my mates, i'll shoot first.

    its a sad fact that the taliban's actions have inevitably rendered the remainder of the civilian poulation more vulnerable.

    re; stratman/ john186; it doesnt stop them hiding amongst OTHER civilians does it, in their own country or not?

    re:silver fox: dresden was bombed because it would burn nicely and had a railway station, a crime now, it seemed right at the time, im sure.

    its worth remembering that merely following orders does not excuse the conduct of the individual. the nuremberg trials firmly established that.

    as for dispensing justice, never happen. one crime begets another.

    ok, fire away :)

    1. Anonymous Coward


      "(seeing this footage on a rock steady 19" monitor in controlled lighting probably results in a slightly clearer image that that available on the apache's helmet mounted display or 6" cockpit displays.

      so, im not surprised that people here can see something the chopper driver didnt or couldnt)."

      Then the pilot shouldnt have opened fire. Are we saying that this is an acceptable risk because our highly trained, well paid, well equiped flying death machines arent able to properly identify targets so see imaginary guns and therefore can open fire on anyone?


      "as a squady once said to me (sorta); if it looks like a gun, it is a gun. if its pointing at me or my mates, i'll shoot first."

      Yeah, works in some situations but is generally frowned up for very good reasons. When you are on the ground, scared, everything looks like a gun. When you are on your third pass in a helicopter you have time to make a decision.

      They didnt open fire on sight of the suspected weapon, they passed several times to get a better look. They reported seeing things that are not visible in the footage. Yes, the stress of combat may have caused mistakes, but is this acceptable?

      Would you be happy if it were your relative killed in the same circumstances?

      All this does is fuel the hatred, with or without the footage, and make it harder for the soldiers on the ground. We learned that this behaviour doesnt work in Vietnam, Borneo, Malaya, Northern Ireland..... It looks like we need to learn it all over again.

      "its a sad fact that the taliban's actions have inevitably rendered the remainder of the civilian poulation more vulnerable."

      This isnt the Taliban, its in Iraq. These are people who are defending their country against a foreign invader. It also show why they feel they have to defend their country because we, in the west, feel its too much trouble to not kill random civilians.

      It appears the sad fact is that the west invaded a country and placed the civilian population in a vulnerable position. Back to the War Crimes tribunal it is then.....

      1. william henderson 1


        "This isnt the Taliban, its in Iraq. These are people who are defending their country against a foreign invader."

        in all probability the Taliban and the Iranian supplied and motivated insurgents are all part of the ongoing global jihad against the west.

        they are, in effect, one and the same.

        i would wager that the Taliban moved into Iraq long ago.

        the muslim fundamentalists will attack western interests where ever they can.

        the bbc puts the number of foreign insurgents at only 10% of the total but rate them as the most active and effective.

        other estimates are as high as 90%.

        "FATF's findings have a particular relevance to Syria where terrorist and insurgent groups have established sophisticated networks in order to facilitate the movement of foreign fighters from around the world into Iraq".

        full article:

        in 2005, nbc news found that 55% of insurgents originated from Saudi Arabia:

        this from 2007:

        also from 2007:

        1. Anonymous Coward


          "i would wager that the Taliban moved into Iraq long ago."

          I will take you up on that wager. Shall we examine the presence of the Taliban in Iraq now, 5 years ago and during Saddams regime?

          You may have gotten confused over who is being fought where - it is understandable when the Politicians do their best to muddy the waters.

          It is *likely* that the insurgents in Iraq were Iranian supported. But even then they only get into the country to fight because the west removed the Dictator who hated the Iranians.

          Now, conflating the Taliban and Iranian regimes is a monumental fail.

          The actions of the west took a geopolitical situation which had led to horrific wars between countries that hated the west and removed a lot of their differences so they can no focus their engergies on hating the west. SHEER BRILLIANCE....

          Even now though, the Taliban and Iranians do not support each other. Even now there are no Taliban in Iraq, "foreign fighters" means something different.


      2. william henderson 1


        "They didnt open fire on sight of the suspected weapon, they passed several times to get a better look. They reported seeing things that are not visible in the footage. Yes, the stress of combat may have caused mistakes, but is this acceptable?"

        i believe it is unavoidable, so it has to be accepted to some extent.

        if you can find a way of making lethal combat unstressefull we'd all like to know how.

        "Would you be happy if it were your relative killed in the same circumstances?"

        i wouldn't feel happy if it were my relative killed under almost ANY circumstances, guilty or otherwise.

  39. Nudge

    new rules regarding journalists

    I've heard that the US gov't are proposing new dress rules to help identify journalists. I'm told they're suggesting shirts with a series of concentric rings in alternating red and white.

  40. Allan George Dyer
    Big Brother

    Facebook is also blocking posts

    Posting links to are blocked with a message, "Some content in this message has been reported as abusive by Facebook users." I've also had a report that MSNBC is blocking in their search result for wikileaks.

    There is a concerted effort to prevent "the people" finding out what is being done in their name. Democracy and freedom are rotten at the core.

    Sadly, this does not surprise me.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Searching (wednesday ca 1100GMT)

    Searching for "wikileaks" with the search tool on their front page seem to be working. I am located in Norway btw. Perhaps there are only one or a few articles are screened if they really are?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



  43. Matt Hawkins

    International Law is not optional

    @Gene Cash

    When YOU invade a country YOU have to follow International Law. Civilians are not required to sign anything. They are also not required to wear a uniform when they are simply walking down the street. When YOU invade a country you are obliged by International Law to protect civilians. If you can't do it because you aren't capable then that is YOUR fault. If you can't follow the law then don't invade. It's that simple.

    If an Iraqi gunned down 10 civilians he would be referred to a terrorist and most Americans would be wetting themselves with rage.

    For some reason the US military thinks it can ignore International Law and the Geneva Conventions because they say so in their "rules of engagement".

    Their rules of engagement are something like "shot anyone you like as long as you remember to pretend after the event that they were armed ... if you shoot any kids then just tut and blame the parents".

  44. Matt Hawkins

    Taliban? What have they got to do with the video?

    @william henderson 1

    You are aware that the video was filmed in Iraq? So why are you talking about the Taliban?

    Wrong country mate. Please re-read article, watch the video and try again.

    Civilians are not required to wear uniforms ... and even if you are actively resisting occupation your uniform options are fairly limited.

    1. william henderson 1


      "Civilians are not required to wear uniforms ... and even if you are actively resisting occupation your uniform options are fairly limited".

      no, but fighters ARE and therein lies the problem.

  45. Anonymous Coward


    I think this is the first time it has ever been truly inappropriate to say "Playmobil or it never happened."

    I am crushed with shame that this was effectively done "in my name."

  46. Mystic Megabyte

    A message to Gordon Brown

    If you want me to vote for you then you have only a few weeks to bring charges of war crimes* against Tony Blair. Hopefully he would implicate his masters Bush and co.

    *possibly treason, I'm not a lawyer

    Somehow I don't think that you'll be getting my vote.

  47. william henderson 1

    @silver fox

    "Ah, someone else who thought to mention the Geneva Conventions without bothering to look it up first.


    To qualify for POW status uniform is not mandatory as long as the combatants or militias carry arms openly;

    ***The United States has not signed the part of the Geneva Conventions that covers militias and resistance movements***"

    that accepted:-

    "Persons protected by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12 August 1949, or by the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea of 12 August 1949, or by the Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, shall not be considered as protected persons within the meaning of the present Convention.

    Art. 5 Where in the territory of a Party to the conflict, the latter is satisfied that an individual protected person is definitely suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the State, such individual person shall not be entitled to claim such rights and privileges under the present Convention as would, if exercised in the favour of such individual person, be prejudicial to the security of such State".

    so the chopper squad may have been perfectly entitled to open fire, as long as they were acting under the auspices of the Iraqi government, which i feel sure they were.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And then there are some people

      who use extreme violence, but only against proven enemy.

      You should meet one.

  48. This post has been deleted by its author

  49. yhwh

    Labour Govenment ask serco to abuse immigrant children.

    Serco are employed by the UK Labour government to abuse children at their detention centers as part of a general abuse program aimed at detering the large numbers of asylum seekers entering the country.

    One father, said that he had found his daughter in the center without any clothes on. A mother, commented on the sexualized behavior of children within the center’.

    A team of doctors examined 24 children detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. They found that the majority were experiencing mental and physical health difficulties related to being in detention. The report identified problems including symptoms of depression, anxiety and sleep problems, as well as headaches, abdominal pain and bed-wetting.

    The Home Office and SERCO deny the violent attacks & abuse despite many consistent allegations made by over 50 women. there is also mobile phone image evidence of some injuries.

    Adam Rickwood, Youngest death in custordy, 14 yr old found hanged with broken nose, wrist & covered in bruises at a serco jail. Police were prevented from finishing forensic examination of the cell by serco, who said they needed it.

  50. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Dear hyperventilators.

    Before you all go screaming for a lynch mob for the Septic chopper crews, you need to consider a few simple facts. I know most of you will still continue to ignore these facts even after I spell them out for you, since you're just so happy with your anti-military squealling, but here goes anyway:

    1. At every stage the crews sought confirmation that they could open fire on the targets, and in both occaissions it was given by a superior officer. The chopper crews made their decision on what they saw, not what Wikileaks edited, zoomed in on and inferred. They saw a threat to US forces and acted to remove that threat only after getting permission to do so. Standard Allied rules of engagament at the time said they did not have to wait for the enemy to open fire on and probably kill US soldiers, only that they perceived the men to be a threat.

    2. These guys were flying cover to fellow US soldiers on the ground who where taking fire from Mahdi gunmen masquerading as civillians, so when they spotted a group of armed men moving into a position to ambush those US ground troops they were doing their job in attacking them. They weren't up there to hold long conversations on justification, they were there to act on orders based on the rules of engagement given to them. In this case, the Mahdi militiamen were armed (AKs and an RPG were found at the site), were acting suspiciously (they were moving into a position from which they could have attacked the Hummer rather than away from the US forces), and the action of the chopper crews probably saved US lives.

    3. It was impossible for the chopper crews to identify the two Reuters employees. Firstly, it is only with hindsight (and Wikileak's libel) that you could even start to think that one man was carrying a camera. Secondly, even if they had realised it was a camera that means nothing - both the Mahdi Army and AQ in Iraq have filmed and photoed their own men in action for their propaganda. Neither Reuters man is wearing anything to identify him as a journalist - no Reuter's jacket or shirt, they didn't use a Reuter's badged car, nor did they wear the blue bodyarmour which has the word "Press" in white on it, which most journalists in Iraq were wearing as a standard as early as the 1991 Gulf War. There was not one reason for the chopper crews to think the Reuters men were anything other than just two more jihadis in the larger gang.

    4. Under the rules of engagement, lethal force was justified. The militiamen the journos were so comfortable with would not have hesitated to use their weapons on US soldiers (or other Iraqis, as they so often did), and doubtless they were not there to welcome the Yanks with open arms. If you can seriously state that those men posed no threat to the US forces those men were moving towards then you really are a few loaves short of a bakery.

    5. The men trying to help the wounded had previously been seen parked outside the same mosque the armed Mahdi guys came out of (this little fact is not mentioned by Wikileaks - I wonder why?). They did pick up a guy and his weapon. If they had just been trying to evacuate the wounded then surely they would have thrown his weapon away. In picking up his weapon they made themselves legitimate targets as they then became a possible threat to any US forces in the immediate area.

    6. It was not unusual for Mahdi militia to use children as human shields. In Sgt Dan Mills' book "Sniper One" he relates an event where a Mahdi gunman would regularly use a house to snipe at the UK base in Al Amarah. The Mahdi man would push the children in the house to the windows so he could shoot over their shoulders, safe in the knowledge the Brits would not shoot back for fear of hitting the kids. When the Brits eventually outsmarted him, he was shot whilst trying to use a girl as a human shield. What the Mahdi "ambulance" crew got wrong here was they assumed the chopper crews would see the kids and hold fire - the chopper crews simply didn't see them. Wikileaks is simply lying when they imply the choppers crews could see the children but still fired.

    7. The children were actually taken to a US forward base and treated before being taken to an Iraqi hospital for further care. Wikileaks simply imply the uncaring Americans were happy to see them suffer. Why was it so important for Wikileaks to make this underhand implication?

    8. Maybe it's because Wikileaks is busy trying to find the $600K budget they need to survive. And what better way to extract donations from the easily fooled than to release a carefully edited tape. A measure of how depserate they are to deceive is that the original tape is 39 minutes long whereas their version - even with their additonal text and doctoring - is only 17 minutes, or less than 50% of what actually happened. Even if the guillible like Phillipus don't pony up, I'm pretty sure there will be plenty of Islamist sympathisers making donations to what they see as an anti-Yank website.

  51. Joe Welcome

    Warmongering and the notion of ill formed righteous

    @Matt Bryant

    If you perceive anyone to go solely after the chopper crew, it would possibly be due to you viewing the violent conflict in Iraq as something trivial, where an act of war occupation is a privilege and something to be accepted outright in its performative nature. As if war is war because war is war, because war is etc. etc.

    Once this acceptance of war, a war understood as being something purely political and simply of a righteous nature, is foreclosed, there are obviously implications with this that makes all your points moot and void of any merit beyond making excuses for crimes committed by a military, that also invaded Iraq by an act of warmongering.

    1. The act of being given orders from command, and commiting one or more a crimes is no excuse for not being responsible. Firstly, the helicopter pilots are by implication admittantly using sub par equipment used for getting firing solution on tanks, to offer fire support in scenarios where people are walking about in an urban area. Secondly, if I am to believe you, they are by implication admittantly subscribing to a pre-emptive targeting and pre-emptive attack, based on the intent in securing an area.

    2. Afaik, there are no proof that the men seen in the video were armed with more than a single assault rifle. It is fair to assume that a man was carrying a camera stand, mistaken for a RPG. You are making a point that a RPG was found elsewhere. You claim that it is just, to have soldiers gun down unknown people to secure an area, but calling soldiering a job does not offer an inch more to the credibility, of the necessity of firing on unknown people, an act which is itself is a crime. No control = no credibility.

    3. Willingly firing on unarmed, unknown and non-uniformed photographers surely a crime. The helicopter pilots knowingly used subpar equipment to perform firesupport, making the claim of the impossibility of properly identifying the people a moot point when questioning the capacity for making a judgement in identifying uknown people. You imply that it might be fair to fire on regular photographers dressed in basic clothing, which show an obvious disregard for non threatening civilians in general.

    4. Claiming that so called militia go around shooting other iraqies basicly on random is an obvious staw man argument void of any sense, other than wanting to support the notion that unknown people are valid targets for securing an area, when in fact it is not a just cause, to target and fire on civilians and to mutilate unknown and poorly understood by disproportionate firepower making for obvious collateral damage in the same process.

    5. Afaik, nobody picked up any weapons when the van stopped and they were trying to move the wounded man. What are your sources, that claim that they picked up a weapon?

    6. To argue that a child is used as a shield, would either imply that the child would act as a stopping force for ammunition, or that soldiers would be discouraged to fire on, or in the general vicinity of a child. You admit that it is sound to fire on or towards a child or civilian to attack a threat or even a possible threat, or perhaps even a suspected threat. Again, this is another claim for acting righteous, as if a soldier by virtue is to be allowed to target and fire on anything that is in the way towards something targeted. As if this act would be justified by self defence and also, a righteous act for simply securing an area. You could similarity argue that the carpet bombing of an entire section of a city would be in order, to deal with a single sniper, which sketch out the righteous privilege of bringing about great destruction for sake of war alone. The helicopter pilots used subpar equipment and probably shouldn't be firing at or towards civilians let alone children.

    7. Afaik, there is nothing in the wikileaks coverage that imply that they thought americans would be happy to see the children suffer.

    8. Afaik wikileaks have not edited the 30ish long video tape in any manner that would be associated with manipulation, for falsifying the event as it was covered by video and audio.

    Question: Are you aware that USA in WW2 explicitly targeted and killed civilians with the atomic bombs? I think you should first grasp this error or political move, before trying to tackle ethical or moral problems in relation to current events, where it is fair to assume that people want to hold a country, its military and its supporters accountable for their actions.

  52. william henderson 1

    re; Warmongering and the notion of ill formed righteous

    so, what is par re: the Apache?

    "Claiming that so called militia go around shooting other Iraqis basically on random..etc..."

    i think its the insurgents doing that.

    "Willingly firing on unarmed, unknown and non-uniformed photographers surely a crime..."

    can you be sure they were not propaganda troops for the "BAAAAD" guys?

    heh, just jokin.....

    "Afaik, nobody picked up any weapons when the van stopped and they were trying to move the wounded man"

    were those people marked in accordance with the Geneva convention? no.

    "To argue that a child is used as a shield, would either imply that the child would act as a stopping force for ammunition, or that soldiers would be discouraged to fire on, or in the general vicinity of a child."

    that is the general principal, i believe.

    the germans used the human shield in the 1914-18 war when they attacked Belgium.

    the town of saumagne was the first noted instance, i believe.

    no one has ever criticized the British troops who, despite the human shield, opened fire and stopped the first attack.

    why waste money on star wars when all you need is a few dozen peasants?

    as for the a bomb(s)... are you aware that America was loosing 2000+ soldiers lives every week fighting the japs and therefor dropping the bomb(s) may have saved tens of thousands of American lives bringing the war to an early end.

    shit, it might even be the reason you are here!!

  53. Joe Welcome

    War is terror

    One cannot justify the mass slaughter of people this way by simply implying that our world is as it is today because of the politically deliberate act of targeting and masskilling of civilians. Such a short circuit is simply not sane, given that there is no obvious link between the mass killing of the population and the outcome of the Japan vs USA war. It seem fair to assume that the bombings played on imposing fear of total extermination, and really nothing to do with tactical or strategic military planning. This only show that might makes right and that waging war is a privilege (if you plan to, succeed to, or simply want to win). You would be arguing that there is to be no accountability for when waging war, the implication of this attitude for undertanding or advocating such behaviour in a conflict, would imo rank with other atrocities known to man.

    The political motives, known and unknown, for the mass killings, and an acknowledgement of concluding that the killings were necessary when it obvious was not, preclude any real possibility for understanding the true moral choices and the real ethical concideration, and it include an undisputable and unrelenting self rightous claim of who and what is right. What is understood as 'just' is surely some act of relativization to what is politically a self serving agenda, whereas 'right' has that certain mystical content playing on the sheepish idiocy of the masses.

    It seem reasonable to claim that a foreclosure of future historical development for supporting politicial actions, or the closure of past historical development for supporting political actions, is one patented way of disqualifying oneself for dealing with both past, present and future ethical and moral problems and concideration. Of course, if might makes right and this is admitted in one way or another, then it is all too obvious that 'necessity' is but self serving, that probably is the foundation for future endeavours, for matters of geoeconomical, geopolitical, and geo military and security importance. It's like this dominance uncontrollably cascades toward a neverending reign that might very well radicalize and endanger with world at large.

    And then i have not really pondered on the scope of collective punishment as a motive of the bombing, nor the testing of the gun-triggered fissionable U-235 detonation and the consequences, nor the implosion triggered fissionable Pu-239 detonation and the consequences.

    Robert McNamara has stated or rather just admitted something quite similar to this notion of 'might makes right', by stating something like, whoever wins a war get to decide who is a warcriminal or not. This is from the allegedly heavily edited documentary "The fog of war: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003)".

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: War is terror

      Wow! Poor Joe has his pants so tight he's way beyond just knots! Somehow we jumped from Apache crews gunning down a group of armed men to nuke war and "mass slaughter"? Try a little perspective! More people are killed on the US highways in the average day than got killed in that Appache attack.

      First off, there was no "mass slaughter". In terms of war combat casualties, twelve men is less than one APC load. Less than hslf a regular platoon, and a drop in the ocean compared to the casualties the Iraqi Army sustained in 1991. It is far less than the number of civillians killed in many bombings happening in Iraq, especially the ones targetting the markets. Whilst that may sound a bit heartless, the American action of the day - fully-supported by the Iraqi government - was to stop the armed militias of all sects so that the ordinary people could get on with their lives. The result was a downturn in Iraqi violence that would not have occured if the US had just pulled out and left the Irqais to slaughter each other. The fact that two journalists got themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time isn't news of mass slaughter, just inexperience and stupidity on their part.

      A few years ago I watched a TV show on war journos (sorry, can't remember the title, I think it was an ITV production though). It showed how young and inexperienced journos - especially stringers with no real training in either risk assessment or military practices - could wind up dead in a very short time. There was one bit of the show going on about the start of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia, and a Serb tank battalion was expected to break out of its barracks in Croatia if Croatia decalred independence. It compared the experienced journos, who set up on a hill overlooking the base and filmed from safety, with the inexperienced stringers. The stringers crowded the base gate, got in the way, and some got shot and some got ran over.

      Even experienced journos sometimes get it wrong. The same program had an experienced journo talking about filming a fire and explosion at an army base somewhere in Africa - they were sited almost a mile away when a piece of shrapnel took his cameraman's arm off! War in any form is unpredictable but there are some things it is obviously very stupid to do. The Reuters journos showed an amazing level of stupidity.

      Let's list all the stupid things they did which any sane person would hesitate to do; going into an area the US had announced they were going to be mounting an operation in (the Allies wanted to keep civillians off the streets); not wearing anything to show they were journos rather than militiamen; mixing with armed men that would be the target of US forces (let's just pretend that neither jouno thought the militiamen concerned had any nasty intent towards the US troops); mingling with those armed men as they moved towards US ground troops, whilst Apache gunships circled overhead (at 800m an Apache is still very visible and can be heard quite clearly); and fianlly, pointing a camera at US troops that were under fire, furtively from half round a corner, rather than choosing a vantage point well back from the action (after all, he had a whopping big telephoto lens on that camera, he could have taken shots from half a mile away, not right up close to the action. The list is an obvious indicator of inexperience mixed with poor judgement to the point of downright stupidity. Hindsight or not, ask yourself if you would have done even half that list without knowing you were putting your life at serious risk. If you heard on the radio that someone had wandered into highway traffic and been killed I'm sure your first thought wouldn't be that the idiot concerned was completely blame free.

      All in all, you posted a load of moralistic bunk. War in any form, whether between two uniformed armies or between a superpower and self-proclaimed "freedom fighters", is not going to be nice. People will be killed or maimed and usually in very painful and horrific ways. Accidents wil happen and innocents (and the stupid) will be killed, sometimes simply due to the limitations of the technology being used. Maybe you should quit reading McNamara (who never went to war, just did statistical analysis on the B-29 effort) and go read some basic history, you seem to have missed the bit about the realities of war.

  54. Joe Welcome

    Poor choice of words

    Hopefully, this comment will follow my earlier one as expected, and I want to retract the words 'not sane', which I wrote somewhere above.

    It was unfortunate that I implied that one would be insane, as in being in a state as if literarily ill health. Not only would this bad choice of words be interpreted as a stupid gesture for demonizing others, but it could also imply that ill health alone was categorically attributed due to making a poor choice in any context.

  55. Joe Welcome

    War as terror, part deux

    @Matt Bryant

    It seems like you have not bothered to really read what I wrote in my posts. Noone would deny that the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 were mass killings. So when I wanted to point out the importance of understanding the true implications of waging war with reference to the bombing of Japan with nuclear weapons, it was in response to William Hendersons comment, who trivialized my concern about the capacity of you to being aware of the limitations with promoting acts of warfare.

    When military forces are expected and allowed to pursue basicly endless means of destruction in achieving dominance or accomplishing other high-value goals like the apparant paranoiac and preemtive action for tailoring their rules of engagement to a neverending inward folding pattern so to speak, where the need for predictability in dominance and preemptive strikes is itself a precipitation based on a militaristic-political necessity of a total paranoiac and preemptive dominance. One dominate, because one has to dominate, because one has to dominate and etc. It's a total package of domination, where failure is not acceptable. The failure to conduct military operations with little or no losses, apparantly be balanced by preemptive actions, that is easily viewed as paranoiac, disproportionate, criminal, cowardly, speculativ, and given the semi-political motives one could imo view it as sports. What a disgraceful notion it would be.

    The sports metaphor seem pertinent when thinking of the fuzzy link between use of military force and political agendas. Being an occupation force, the notion of necessity seem inane when it infer a (preumably) lasting tyranny, dictating unprecedented domination for sustaining very low and relatively disproportionate losses in relation to damages inflicted on others in theater of operations.

    I find your latest comment insipid and I can't help thinking that you felt like rambling.

    War sucks, but apparantly, others are apparantly of the opinion that war not only sucks but that war is also necessary and fortuitous, given that war is a tool for world change.

    I suspect the predictable internal turmoil of Iraq post-invasion was more a challenge and an opportunity for USA, sort of making USA a part of the problem of security in the first place.

    I understand the notion of war as being unpredictable, but it really doesn't make sense at all to join or even start a war without a predictable outcome, thus a claim of war being unpredictable is stupefying when trying to trivialize the consequences, even when talking about reporters. There are risks and shit may happen, but there are more things to take into concideration when bad things happen. War being hell being an ignorant tautological statement.

    My impression is that the sensibility of USA for showing their concern for the local population seem to be akin to dropping flyers, telling people to move out of a entire land area or risk being outright killed on sight.

    What I posted earlier is not so much moralistic as common sense. It's about accountability. With war as a privilege, accountability goes out the window.

    Without having special knowledge, I would like to point out that Robert McNamara was working as Secretary of defence. Picture Rumsfeld and his way of going about things and consider the possible involvement by both of them in shaping politics and rules of engagement.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: War as terror, part deux

      Well, what a waste of time that was! You obviously don't have a clue about the situation in Iraq or the rules under which out troops operate. You try and paint a picture of wild, unmanaged cowboys using all and every weapon at their disposal at the drop of a hat. ".....When military forces are expected and allowed to pursue basicly endless means of destruction....." What a complete load of male bovine manure. You just sprouted paragraphs displaying nothing more than your overwhelming ignorance and anti-military prejudices.

      I'll try and explain nthe simple mechanics of a military action. It really is quite simple - you need to find the enemy, identify them and kill them before they kill you, your buddies or allies. The time between finding the enemy and having to kill them is usaully very short if you want to be the ones not dying, leaving little time to go with the identification bit. Soldiers are human - they don't want to die, and they know the simplest way to ensure they don't die is to shoot first. In order to stop them shooting indiscriminantly or hesitating too long over identification, they are given rules of engagement. Despite what you think, these are not rules to tell soldiers when they can murder, they are the rules under which a soldier can act to protect his own or a colleague's or a bystander's life, and are set by legal bodies, not on a whim.

      Now, I know idiots like you think the rules are stacked to the soldier's advantage, but the reality is soldiers will tell you otherwise. I'll give you the simple case as used as a training example for British troops in Iraq (the same training example was devised by US legal teams and used by all Allied units in the theatre). The situation goes like this - a soldier spots a civillian in plain clothes pulling what looks like the pin from a grenade and preparing to throw it - is he justified in shooting the civillian? Yes, as the thrower consititutes a clear threat to the life of the soldier, his colleagues and any bystanders. Second part of the scenario is the civillian has thrown the grenade, can the soldier shoot him? Surprisingly, no! The threat (as defined by the legal team) is transfered to the grenade. Mr jihadi can be apprehended and arrested (if the soldiers survive the grenade attack), but they cannot shoot him unless he acquires a new weapon and poses a new threat.

      Here's the fun bit - the soldier, in considering the first part of the scenario, does not have to confirm that the thrower is actually throwing a live and operational greande as it would be UNREASONABLE to expect him to do so. It could be a dud or a fake or just a toy, but if the soldier has reasonable grounds that there is a threat he does not have to establish the extent of that threat beyond all doubt, just beyond reasonable doubt. The chopper crew met that criteria, confirmed their conclusion with a senior offier, and then killed what they saw as a threat to fellow soldiers. That someone further up the chain got all worried about how the deluded such as yourself might perceive the action is the problem with politics, not the soldiers involved.

      That those soldiers showed happiness at saving the lives of fellow soldiers should not come as a surprise to anyone. It's what they trained to do, and given a choice I would much rather see ten Mahdi gunmen and two Reuters idiots die then see even one US soldier come home in a bodybag. Is that because I think one US soldier's life is somehow worth more than an Iraqi life? No, it's because I know the US soldier was there, with the Iraqi goovernment's approval, to stop the Mahdi gunmen murdering other Iraqis. The end game plan is that the killing stops - nobody dies, everyone gets on with their lives, a much preferred option. Do I think it is regrettable that the Reuters crew got killed too? Yes, but that was their fault, not that of the chopper crews, and any court of US civil or military court of law will probably agree. Whilst you get all upset about the crew laughing at a Hummer driving over a body, that in itself is not a crime. It is also not a crime to celebrate killing the people shooting, mortaring and blowingup your friends and fellow soldiers.

      In short, welcome to the real World.

  56. william henderson 1


    "it was in response to William Hendersons comment, who trivialized my concern about the capacity of you to being aware of the limitations with promoting acts of warfare."

    in no way did i attempt to trivialise any one's opinion on warfare, it's effects or their capacity for comprehension.

    the a-bombing of hiroshima and nagasaki need to be viewed with regards to the prospect of having to invade the japanese mainland to secure victory and, therefor, peace and the massive casualties that were expected to result.

    the american experience on okinawa and iwo jima fortold a massive loss to the allied forces, american military leaders predicted up to 3/4 million american dead and 1/2 million+ dead from other nations.

    japans casualties went off the scale.

    the main island was not scheduled to be invaded untill 1954.

    such projections, we have no grounds to doubt given prior experiences, were not unrealistic.

    therefor, the a-bombings, hideous though they were, probably saved counless lives on BOTH sides.

    there are many allive today who can partly thank the use of the a-bombes for just that.

    their fathers survived the war to raise families, i count my self amongst them.

  57. Joe Welcome

    War is terror, yet again

    @ Matt Bryant

    I don't want to have to spoon feed you guys, but I want to point out what appear to be a misreading of what I wrote:

    I wrote:

    When military forces are expected and allowed to pursue basicly endless means of destruction(...)

    It patently means:

    An accusation of the expectation and allowing of using every method for winning despite the consequences. What I wrote has nothing to with for example the attitude of "Let's maw the whole place down and see what happens.", like some US senator (Trent Lott R-Miss) explicitly voiced by his opinons about Iraq. Oh, this was weird.

    Still I did not suggest that US pursue endless destruction as such as you perhaps imply, if one read my sentence carefully. So this covers use of nuclear bombs past and future, chemical weapons in Fallujah which afaik is an accepted version of events among the US military, and then there is also the sporadic use of torture, an attitude throughout the ranks that I think nobody is doubting, despite it perhaps not being a systemic policy.

    I am not a pacifist (and I am not really a regular intellectual either, more so a philosopher if it makes any sense), but I want to relate to things in a sensible way. And in this case with the war in Iraq there are things, systemic things, that I find simply unacceptable with common sense.

    At two ends, there ought to be no war with its predictable horrors, and in the other end so to speak, it seem dignified that they take a bullet to the head than to go about securing an area by means of paranoic rules of engagement that focuses on swift measures that are all to convenient.

    Concider the following please: If someone were to attempt to rob someone by explicitly stating this, and threatening him with a weapon, like a soldier in a war, the soldier really would be best off by just killing the victim, because just like a soldier in war, the threat of violent opposision must be expected, and be found unacceptable. So by robbing someone, the victim himself is a clear and present danger this way, like anyone suspected, accused or believed to being a member of the opposition.

    @ william henderson 1

    You too seem to have misread what I wrote:

    What I wrote:

    "(...)it was in response to William Hendersons comment, who trivialized my concern about the capacity of you to being aware of the limitations with promoting acts of warfare."

    What it meant:

    I wanted to make about about 'limitations' unfortunately without having specified what I meant by this. I assumed that my prior engagement in laying forth my concerns about the understanding of moral and ethical questions, would be rather obvious when pointing out 'limitations' by promoting acts of warfare.

    Using atomic bombs doesn't really make sense for advocating an swift end to the war, US forces were clearly superior, and the Japanese forces were afaik clearly inferior. Afaik they even wanted to surrender, but US insisted on an unconditional surrender. And as such war was a privilege. Then with the firebombing prior to the use of atomic bombs, it seem that a total threat of extermination in cojunction with a non negotiable peace (or the ending of a war, if you really cared for the soldiers) cannot possibly be justified. And imagine how absurd it would be to perchance claim the importance that my 24" Eizo computer screen is really only a reality because of US targeting and killing civilians in 1945.

    1. william henderson 1

      no problemo...

      "Using atomic bombs doesn't really make sense for advocating an swift end to the war, US forces were clearly superior, and the Japanese forces were afaik clearly inferior. Afaik they even wanted to surrender, but US insisted on an unconditional surrender."

      the Japanese had nearly 1.5million people under arms in japan and another approx. 2 million in china and a global total of 5.5 million men.

      inferior, undoubtedly but defeated? far from it.

      Japanese officers tried to stage a revolt against the emperor in order to stop the surrender.

      it was only Hirohito that made it possible. Tojo and others wanted to fight to extinction to save the national honour.

      unconditional surrender was insisted upon by the allies, not just America.

      all sides in war have resorted to methods we would, in peace time, find repugnant.

      this is inevitable, we are raised to believe that killing is wrong.

      the morality of war boils down to deciding what is necessary to win it and the kind of political entity that wins.

      them or us.

      if the Afghan /Iraq conflicts end the threat of the jihadis, or severely limit their ability to act, then i for one, support them.

      al-qaeda and the Taliban are working hand in hand, intending to destroy our cultures and re-establish the Muslim caliphate under strict Salafi /Wahhabi sharia law, that is their stated aim.

      even if it takes centuries.

      i do not wish to live in such a world.

      with their way, innocent people, kufar people, will die in their millions.

      slaughtered for being unbelievers, infidels.

      sadly, many many thousands will die stopping them.

      we do have a choice: convert to Islam or fight.

      what would you do?

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: War is terror, yet again

      I'll try and keep this short as it is becoming very obvious that you don't have a clue and further discourse on the subject is just a waste of time. You are so set in your prejudices that you cannot contemplate anything but your version of "the truth", hence you skip away from the subject and off to favourite memes of the anti-war morons such as Fallujah, nuke war and WW2, which have NOTHING to do with the Wikileaks video. I suggest that is because you cannot formulate arguments of your own, it is you that have been spoonfed all your "ideas" and when others post views and information that opposes them, and pokes gaping holes in them, you cannot form a reply but instead skip off to the next idea you have been spoonfed ("Fallujah was wrong", "dropping nukes on Japan was wrong", "all US troops are murders killing without control", etc, etc). You claim to be a philosopher but it is clear you are just an echo chamber for the typical anti-war claptrap.

      You obviously need to spend a lot more time doing some reading and forming YOUR OWN ideas, especially regarding history. As regards the Allied insistance on unconditional surrender, this stemmed from the end of WW1, where the French and UK allowed the Germans a conditional surrender, which led to future German claims of being "undefeated". Hitler used this to stoke up the Germans prior to WW2. The Brits and French wanted to impose an unconditional surrender on Germany in WW2 to make it clear whom had won and stop any future Hitlers starting WW3. This unconditional surrender was extended to all the Axis partners without fully understanding the impact on the Japanese, for whom ANY surrender was unthinkable. The result was no bargaining room for the US to try and dress up a negotiated surrender of the Japs, in exchange for not invading the Japanese mainland, as a war-ending truce. The Japs really did think they had no opion but to fight on or face the annhilation of Japan as they knew it. It was only after Hiroshima and Nagasaki showed that a nuke bombing campaign really would mean the total destruction of all Japanese cities that Hirohito stepped in and forced a surrender on his politicians. Up until then, Japan was grimply preparing all civillians in Japan to fight the Allied invasion, an event that would have seen millions of Japanese and Allies die. In that comparison, the A-bombs dropped killed less people, and as such should be considered a success in ending the war with LESS loss of life than an invasion. If you cannot see that then you really are an even bigger moron than your ramblings lead me to think.

  58. Joe Welcome


    My browser ate my initial attempt at a response.


    @ william henderson 1

    You admit that there were dissidence among the Japanese and this implication goes to show that the bombing of Japan with nuclear weapons was not really necessary.

    I don't think you will find a psychologist anywhere that will agree to 'killing', ever at all, as being the right thing to do.

    1. william henderson 1



      how would THEY have combatted japanese aggression?

      the dissention was fuelled by those who wanted to continue the war, not end it.

      only hirohito's position as a god-like or divine leader brought about japan's surrender.

      the bombing was necessary to save allied lives, japan's people, as target nation, counted somewhat less.

      in light of the nature of the opposing regimes, this can hardly be wrong.

      the killing stopped when japan surrendered, would it have stopped if they had won?

      i maintain that, if our actions in iraq/ afghanistan are genuinely intended to cripple or stop the al-qaeda/ taliban axis, then those actions are just.

      innocent people WILL die in the course of these events but, FEWER will die if the west (and moderate muslims), prevail, than if the jihadists win.

      the jihadists are happy to kill all those they consider kufar and that is every one but themselves.

      that needs to be understood, then these tragic incedents will at least be put into their correct proportion with regards to the historical roots of the present conflict and its implications.

  59. Joe Welcome

    War as terror, 1/2

    I wonder, what did you intend to have it mean for you and/or for me, by characterizing incidents as 'tragic'?

    Did you, or do you mean 'tragic' here to be understood as 'saddening' for you yourself on a personal self-relating level? (I believe this is called empathy) Or perhaps not, by simply stating the fact of it being 'tragic' as a characterization of something categorically being avoidable on behalf of a stack of dead people or a group of people suffering? (partly sympathetic)

    Could it perhaps mean that 'tragic' here was playing off the fact of something being categorically unavoidable and thus saddening for you or for others given the predictability of the outcome? (speculative)

    Or does 'tragic' alone or in combination with the above mean that people being hurt or killed are to be understood as merely objects of pity for others void of any personal emotional involvement from you? (possibly masochistic?)

    Asking me how psychologists would have combatted the Japanese is simply stupid, as I have not suggested or implied such. I mentioned the psychologists to hint at the inrinsic limitations of our motivations, a default effect being stupid or what can be understood as adhering to beliefs perchance patently 'delusional' which is primarily a characterization of something being detrimental (as such) , or simply subscribing to motivations of ill will. Yes, here is a rub. It would make sense to understand this limitation of our so called motives and motivations, given that one either is aware of what one is doing as a pure intellectual activity (known for us as consciousness), or that you are not aware of this.

    Because being reflexive (here also meaning interpretive) about our actions (primarily our own ofc) merely in hindsight is not something that has a status of accountability (glossing over or rewriting history entirely) and just goes to show how important it is to have some sense of critical understanding when supporting or promoting acts of warfare.

    Even a common notion like 'self defence' doesn't make good sense beyond some point.

    To categorically act upon justification for self defence ought to be a clear example of the inappropriateness, which I believe psychologists would point out by virtue of how obvious and injustifiable it is by itself as 'categorical'. If one is aware that one donesn't know what one is talking about, then it should be (oddly enough) obvious that there is no sound justification prevalent, and one might very well argue that there never could be one either, unless there perchance was some clear and present desperate situation that called for neccessary measures of unequivocal self defence.

    And with this I believe I have explained my points earlier about the horror and terror of acting out on rightousness impulses or motivations if you will, when waging in acts of warfare in this case. I want to stress something important, that I think is worth mentioning for those reading this text. While one ought to make points while also explaining them, it make sense that explanations being so called points in themselves are 'concomitant'. This way, 'it' being subordinate, for the obvious reason of being well.. reasonable (no pun intended, really) in the sense that it is particularily an action of rationality. And conversely, projecting some kind of explanation without a clear point, can also be said to be concomitant. This way, it being incidental and unfortunately wide open for interpretations regarding meaning, content, form, actualization and realization,

    For anyone inclined to being interested in philosophy as it is loosely known and whom are reading this, I want to say in short that it ought to be fair to assume that by common sense one should assume that there is no 'ding-an-sich' that would 'by itself' (claimed as valid, despite being an obvious proposition awaiting acceptance) really justify anything, so people please don't argue with me here when I seem to talk about limitations of sense and rationalization, while also using what one commonly know as precisely this sense of rationality. Of course, given the complex set of relations in which us humans have come to aquire so called 'knowledge' and probably affinity in relation to stuff in general, after thousands of years where one can't help but becoming either oblivious, directly ignorant or involved in the ways of speaking various forms of languages by which we try to communicate with eachother, then given the complex set of relations, some form of education, opportunity, time, and last but not least, a real and personal interest, is probably necessary to understand exactly the limitatons by our understanding.

    There is a paradox in this, which sort of show its own point so to speak, but there is no contradiction unless one of course want to or feel like objecting to it. The paradox here as I want to explain, being the simple idea, or the notion if you will, that one somehow *believe* to be thinking whatever one understands in the same process. It has been said or written that "Life must be lived forwards, but it can only be understood backwards." It seem like one is better off trying to acknowledge the fact that the action of thinking is a oneway forward'ish process, if there ever were directions in time to choose from. We do believe of a past, present and a future, but surely noone with common sense would keep holding on to the belief that they are sort of thinking the very same thoughts from last week that they are thinking today, knowing how all-too-convenient it is to subscribe to such a way of attributing meaning to thoughts. As if thoughts as we know them are as material as a piece of cake somewhere.

    With the dilemma of what came first of the chicken and the egg, with that obvious notion that they both are a product of the other. I am sure that anyone after reading the paradox I wrote about above prior to the chickend and the egg, will have had stopped and gotten confused and then been trying to re-read the sentence several times over again. This sentence I wrote about believing that what one is thinking is what one understands. It would be true if one believes one understands what one was thinking, but it should be obvious that this belief in understanding ones thoughts is not the very same thought process that one is thinking it. And I will then (pun intended, preemptively) finally raise a question of how can know what I must have meant by the word *belief* in this context regarding cognitive processes. My answer would be, that I cannot really offer a answer with measures or quality of truth values, other than pointing out something obvious, that the tautological characterization of actually answering, being an answer insofar as it is the act of replying as such.

    Still, I would argue that one might with good reason suspect that one somehow either choose *how* and *when* to think about things when one is doing some thinking. (Oddly enough, the how and when seem as intrinsic to peoples attempts at wanting to create representations of the world with language.) Simply because belief with this very simple term, is what I suspect can be conceptually be thought of as recognizable patterns which really only can be understood as being constitutive with a reflexive turn, which you by necessity, always-already-knew. Whoah I think I connected some dots here, that Schlavoijy Zchizeck guy has some weird take on things. I think I learned something here that I couldn't make sense of earlier when I read about things. Time will tell if this epiphany make as much sense to me next week as now, or when I wrote the text some moments earlier.

    Being a so called 'layman' or 'internet person' if you will, I am of course willing to in due time, to rethink the conceptual implications which I might still remember later on or that which I have come to have believed to have misunderstood in part or entirely.

    And here is another point I want to make, that any ensuing confusion, recognized as a doubly disposition with a both break and the introduction of something else into a thought process, an ensuing confusion despite being something that seem to be a trivial break for when reading a text for example, can be said to be characterized as a concomitant event that paradoxically would make sense, despite the apparant failure or closure/ending.

    Another likely event after reading what I called a paradox with the belief of thoughts and undertanding, would be to objecting to the way I have presented a general problem, with grounds of suspecting that one has been persuaded somehow. This written text is by necessity all fiction one way or another, so I wouldn't get perplexed by anyone pointing that out.

    My own answer to the presumably familiar 'Chicken or the egg' causality dilemma (I was surprised by the fun of having personally come up with what I thought was an original notion about that dilemma), is that it would make sense to want to solve the dilemma by foremost understanding the dilemma of codependency as simply being a codependent process, and afterwards accept it as a perplexing problem perhaps psychologically if that is a good choice for a word here, and then maybe finally understanding it as a reocurring joke. Physicists probably go far in accepting such a belief of codependency for when working with imperceivable and theoretical work on eh four dimensional energy density occilations and the origins of the cosmic universe with the big bang and all. They also probably believe in various sorts of phenomenons because the theory and the intuition make sense and that the observations or foremost the measurements, are predictable.

    End of part 1 of 2 (I had to split this up to get in all I wanted to write, I hope this doesn't cause a problem)

  60. Joe Welcome

    War as terror, 2/2

    Who knows what free will and consciousness really is. I would need to write another wall of text to get opinionated about that particular topic, probably for wanting to mock anyone believing the status of a piece of cake somewhere, to be perhaps metaphysical, religious, or political. With life being practically a conundrum, with conjectural answers together with the metaphorical notion of baggage, of religious and presumably cultural indoctrinations spanning thousands of years with people practicing various forms of mysticism with the religions and what is known as science. To foremost believing yourself in trusting yourself doing it, even with that notion of mystical ways of your existence, seem to be really the primordial and sensible choice for both understanding and acting upon. I think 'personality' *as such* (forget personality types here) would be a suitable denominator for both bridging the gap between people and for understanding yourself. Surely you as yourself (anyone reading this), are not your job, your family, your religion or your car. It would be concidered stupid and abysmally idotic to acknowledge that you are not yourself (your-self), or by denouncing that you are not yourself being or expressing yourself.

    Though, one could perhaps start using the word youreself (you-are-self) to plow new fields of understanding, hinting at a case of an un-authentic cognitive process with "not youreself" for when something directly were to interfere with the cognitive process, like with lab-rats wired to computers. Iirc, someone claimed that scientists are known for already working on functioning equipement that is to interfere with the natural occurrance of brainwaves, presumably by ways of electromagnetism, to induce a state of terror and anguish. What a failed riot tool that would be, transforming a bunch of disgruntled people into going beserk instead, or perhaps it could be a way to overload the sensory system and inducing unconsciousness?

    Given that I suspect our cognitive process is a synesthetic process, I doubt scientists will be able to really interpret anything other than other earlier interpretations. I suppose I could imagine there being a similar version of a 'gaia theory' where everything may be playing an influencial part in some grand process, but this then foremost limited to the body of a person being a closed neurological system. And then there is the obvious connection to other people by various forms of social interactions, and interactions with the environment.

    No doubt that scientists and academics will take the opportunity to study their interpretations of this ultimately biological process and make use of that to re-interpret it categorically for pure convenience. Well this is what I can imagine anyway. Since my text here has sidetracked, I might as well quickly juice this text up further by saying that I doubt anyone will want to work for setting up a new world order government, but I do not doubt that organizations will want to eventually lay forth the basic notion of such in part, as if it was a good idea to view it as perhaps necessary, in order to simply maintain business as usual and to legitimize the current way of going about things. One could imagine that there is an supposed common interest, as if people as such really are deciding things, but it seem obvious that noone is to be allowed for contributing at all.

    It took me about ten years to become somewhat comfortable in trying to understand the ways of relating to things that otherwise surely are rather isoteric with all the various terms that somehow seem to be related to eachother in one or across several topical fields. So this was ten years of somewhat tedious and random set of events, probably because I was basicly alone having only the internet without studying at academia. I guess that other people might very well learn the same stuff in a much shorter timespan, though their personality *as such* of going about things would not only be different by virtue of being some other individual, but they will probably relate to and focus on different parts in some more or less biased manner.

    If one would agree to loosely believe in a set of issues, if you will, like war and common sense to sketch up a overly simplified example, and then sort of believing it at the same time if we simply pretend it to be so, then it shouldn't be a surprise if it one were to learn that there is was something one never understood, or maybe simply were having their priorities messed up and didn't cared for it anyway. In my view this would be what I would call something tragic. It seems a far stretch to having to perchance take pity as they say, on most of the world if one were to try to do it all at some individual level (I just can't or won't do it, it's not natural I would argue), but at least one could accept to try keeping a level head for matters that is closely related.

    It is probably a prerequisite to have aquired some basic concepts about language as a way of expression, an interpretation, a practice and a theory (the possibility of achieving some kind of unequivocal communication would be disputed) for getting much out of stuff akin to for example what is talked about in the following link which leads to a superb lecture from Yale university, lecture which I found a couple of months ago on youtube: (Intro. to theory of literature, English, subtitled in English)

    Children among themselves are apparantly able to foster some common sense without the drive for indoctrination. And who can't resist worrying about effecs or behavior similar to that believed to be indoctrination when talking about philosopical problems and the discussions about events shaping our world? With adults, I suspect that few people and nothing in society in general, have a genuine interest in offering people to learn stuff beyond trivial matters by general and special education.

    I want to try finishing off here with a song by Bill Bailey:

    <i>The categooorical imperative which compells us all to act

    upon decisiiions we come to, based on a sense of duty and like the

    moooral imperative which is based on material neeeds

    purity of intentions confer morality on our deeeds.</i>

    This is probably related to academic works by Immanuel kant and I imagine there is some the stinking cultural baggage going with it, with what for me seem to be a clever act of satire in its simplicity, which I believe show the rather obvious shallowness of human agency or anything related to holding office. The projection of intentions on some act, prior to, during, or after (way after) an event, and calling it moral or morality by some always-already necessity, a necessity that so to speak folds in on itself offering a neverending perspective.

    This reminds me of something fun I saw recently, a documentary about Maurits Cornelis Escher, with his drawing "Print Gallery". I couldn't find a youtube link, but here is a link that plays this english documentary with my IE7 browser (I use Opera maybe 99,999% of the time), the subtitles are in Norwegian, but they can ofc simply be ignored. Some very short sequences with speech in other languanges are not conveniently translated this way. The illustration of the picture frame itself, of a perspective, is presented as triwling inwards towards a point beyond anything being perceivable, and the outer side of the frame is sort of nonexistent and paradoxically a real fake or a fake real.

    *On a different note, having revealed that I likely am reside in Norway, I want to apologize for the fact that Jagland awarded the latest Nobel peace price, it now seem to be to be more like something of a piece price, a piece of speculative political capital and not so much a token of an esteemed appreciation of goodwill, but appreciation of something to be feared from what I thought of it.*

    I might as well add more there. Did people knew that so called facts are best understood as mere 'propositions' that we all either could agree to, or that we ought to be able to agree upon by virtue of something being rather obviosunes? Truth 'value' (whatever one want to go with this) goes out the window, but I think it is fair to say that this understanding could be an acknowledgement of the limitations of human agency, and the insolence of office, and that it sort of opens up for a task of getting acquainted with the basic issues of understanding what people have been and will be facing in the future.

    Since people cannot seem to agree on a common reality, the betterment for the foreseeable future might very well be an act to be delayed until later with a real consensus. Undoubtedly and unfortunately so, this is the probably the reality for governments and powerful organisations around the word, who would be but a mere flag, logo or a name if it were not for all the people depending on them presumably with the pretence that those with power are indeed right/just in doing what is right/just.

    I imagine Schlavo Schijek could be pointing out the inconsistency of believing that sorting the garbage is somehow more important than the petty resolve for sorting out cultural and with this the implied issue of war and all that.

    It seems to me obvious that the necessity, and the need, and the demand for 'predictable future' is for only of importance for the outmost powerful organizations for a pyramid game, whos motivations opts for folding in on itself in an act of obscene rightousness or of oblivious ignorance. Fancy words here, yet one ought to get aquainted with the use of them and more importantly what it could mean in any case.

  61. Joe Welcome

    Ops, I forgot to add the link to public Escher documentary

    Ops, I forgot to add the link to the public Escher documentary shown at the website at the my national broadcast corp:

  62. william henderson 1

    flying ....

    ..planes full of innocent people into buildings full of innocent people can not be justified by any kind of belief system except that held by the delusioned.

    no amount of psychobabble can justify NOT persuing the perpetrators of such act, or their supporters and sponsers.

    again, yet more innocent people will die in this conflict, but far fewer than if we allow the likes of bin-laden to reign supreme.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: flying ....

      So that argument is intended to justify this incident, is it? This didn't need to happen. There's no justifying it.

      1. william henderson 1


        telling that to the 9/11 terrorists.

        not every soldier is a hero and sure, there are a few sadists in every camp but expecting every one to get it right 100% of the time is unrealistic.

        if it weren't for 9/11, the yanks (and us) wouln't be there.

        no, it didn't NEED to happen.

        neither did many of the other nasties in human history, if you are going to lay blame in this instance, start with bin laden and the zealots of al-qaeda/taliban.

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